Macho fraternity

Some macho trainers promote the "no pain, no gain" mentality, bully students and inculcate in many people a life-long hatred of exercise (if they are school coaches, for example), consider anyone who does not battle through pain to be a wimp, and have a "you must do them" attitude to some exercises. ^ese coaches are doing untold damage in the exercise world. Sure they have their training successes, but these coaches make the classic mistake of assuming that what their star charges succeeded on should be used by everyone. Just because an exercise is demonstrably productive for some people does not mean that it is demonstrably productive for everyone.

10.19 Over the years countless people have given up weight training due to having been hurt from following the prescriptions of the macho writers and coaches. But you do not hear from these people. You only hear the success stories of people who can break the rules and get away with it (at least over the short term). But even these people are usually forced to tidy up their acts eventually. If you live the macho "no pain, no gain" attitude now, you will regret it, and sooner rather than later.

10.20 Many people promote an "if it does not hurt, it is safe" school of thought, and do not count minor aches as pain. Minor aches are irrelevant, and must be ignored, they say. "Be a man! You have to suffer to succeed." So minor aches are tolerated, and eventually they turn into a serious injury. Even "men" get hurt.

10.21 Just because an exercise does not hurt you today, next week, or next month does not mean that it will not hurt you later on. Some weight-training exercises do not produce acute injury, but an accumulation of damage which, over time, will cause serious injury. So the theory of "if it does not hurt, it is safe" is no good. For example, I did squats for years with my heels raised, with no apparent damage at the time. ^e damage came later on.

10.22 Easy gainers do not suffer as much from exercise abuse as do hard gainers. But hardly anyone accepts that they are easy gainers. I am not talking about super easy gainers of the caliber of Reg Park, Bill Pearl, Sergio Oliva, Mike Mentzer, Lee Haney and Paul Dillett. I am talking about people who are able, drug-free but following years of dedication and hard training, to bench press 350+ pounds and squat 500+ pounds at under 200 pounds or so bodyweight. Anyone who can achieve these lifts has been blessed with a


body much more responsive than the archetypal hard gainer's. I wish I had gotten a body like that.

10.23 Very high achievers need to appreciate that they were blessed with good genetics for building strength and muscle, and that blessing gave them a body more robust than the typical person's. A minority of people do not get injured easily. But it is that minority which has such a powerful influence in educating the exercise world. Because their bodies are so robust, many of them are largely unaware that certain practices may result in less robust individuals getting injured.

10.24 Easy gainers almost always fail to understand how it is on the other side of the gaining table, though some fail much more miserably than do others. A very few of these coaches, however, do know the real score because they have sympathetically worked with many archetypical hard gainers.

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